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The Istanbul Book Fair in Turkey

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This year, Korea was invited to the largest book fair in Turkey—the Istanbul Book Fair, which ran from November 4th to 7th. Korea was selected as this year’s Guest of Honor; a choice that is particularly meaningful, as 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Korea and Turkey. Publishers from over 800 businesses representing 18 countries were present at the event, which received over 500,000 visitors this year. The Literature Translation Institute of Korea (LTI Korea) (President: Kim Seong-kon) held a total of seven literary events during this period at the TÜYAP Fair and Congress Center and downtown Istanbul with Korean writers Chun Yang Hee, Lee Seong-Bok, Ch’oe Yun, Ahn Do-hyun, Son Honggyu, and Kim Ae-ran.

 

The writers participated in meetings with readers and readings at Korea’s Guest of Honor Pavilion from November 4th to 6th. The events were all held to packed houses thanks to the great excitement Turkish readers had for Korea and Korean literature. Audiences even lined up after the events to take pictures with the writers or get their autographs.

 

The Korea-Turkey Literature Night was held on the evening of November 6th at DAM, a cultural center at the heart of Istanbul. Korean novelist Son Honggyu and poets Ahn Do-hyun, Lee Seong-Bok, and Chun Yang Hee participated in the event alongside Turkish poets Oya Uysal and Arda Kıpçak and novelists Adnan Ozer and Yavuz Ekinci. Over 100 people were in the audience, including writers, publishers, journalists, and ordinary readers.

 

In the afternoon of November 7th, LTI Korea visited Istanbul University’s College of Humanities and Social Sciences, holding a meeting with Ch’oe Yun and Kim Ae-ran. Istanbul University is the largest university in Turkey. Last year, it became the third institution of postsecondary education in Turkey to offer a major in Korean language and literature, following Ankara University and Erciyes University.

 

LTI Korea displayed over 140 works of modern and classic Korean literature at the Guest of Honor Pavilion in the TÜYAP Fair and Congress Center, including 15 works that have been translated into Turkish. These 15 works include ‘Anthology of Contemporary Korean Shorts’, which was the first work of Korean literature to be released in Turkey. Published in 2001, the book includes short stories like <Hoesaek Nunsaram (The Grey Snowman)> by Ch’oe Yun and ‘The Snowy Road’ by Yi Chong-jun. At this year’s literary events, LTI Korea had the opportunity to assess the great passion Turkish publishers and readers had for Korean literature. The Institute will continue to support the publication of Korean writers in Turkey while strengthening its strategic partnership with Turkey’s leading publishers to further promote Korean literature in Turkey.

 

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